Letter to My Congressman, Charlie Wilson (D, OH-6)
Dear Congressman Wilson–
I previously wrote you and pledged to work for your ouster. While I am still miffed about the massive size of the stimulus and the secretive, irresponsible manner in which it was composed and passed, I believe the only way forward is to work together so the best ideas win out and America moves forward to the brighter future that can be ours, if we just stick to the basic principles that made America the great nation she has been.
That said, I’m concerned about a number of things with regard to the “stimulus package” lately.
Firstly, deception on your website. On the page dedicated to showing how the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act will help the sixth district you cite the Congressional Budget Office’s figure that 74 percent of the funds will be invested by the end of FY 2010. But you fail to note that the same CBO said that while the stimulus may show short-term growth, the long-term effects will be deleterious–actually leading in a net shrink in the economy due to the massive government debt the bill will incur.
Moreover, Congressional Democrats–David Obey and Nancy Pelosi in particular–have practically admitted that they aren’t entirely optimistic about the prospects of the $787 bilion stimulus package by beginning talk of a possible “second stimulus”. Throwing good money after bad is not good business, not good governance, and it is terribly irresponsible.
Also, thus far, the only jobs you’ve pointed to as being “saved or created” by the stimulus bill were two dozen police officers in Columbus who would have been laid off without the money from Washington. Four things: 1) state and local police operations are, and ought to be, the responsibility of the local community to raise and support. If Washington is involved in such a manner as this, there is a problem of federalism which likely (as in this case) results from Washington taking too much money out of the local communities and then sending a portion of it back to finance projects the self-appointed elites in Washington have determined “worthy projects.” This is not the federalism envisioned by the Founders. This is central planning. 2) Two dozen jobs is a pittance for the massive size of the stimulus bill–even only three or so weeks hence from the time is became law of the land. The economy is in dire straits now. It needs all the stimulus it can get now. 3) Those two dozen jobs were government jobs. Important police jobs, to be sure, but government jobs–the kind supported by tax dollars, not by private employment and free market principles. Government jobs, by definition, are a drag on the economy, not a benefit. They don’t produce wealth, but suck it away through taxes from those who do. Many government jobs are Constitutional and necessary. Very, very many are not. 4) Real economic improvement will come when the government stops trying to engineer the economy (a-la coercing banks into giving bad loans and setting up a Ponzi scheme to back them up through the ill-fated Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac apparatus) and lets private citizens keep more of their own money. Real people who are engaged in their own day-to-day lives spend money at a far quicker and more efficient clip than a government bureaucracy. And they do with it what they will, not what the bureaucrats instruct them is really in their best interest.
Which brings me to my next point. Your latest email update talks about how jobs will be created through a government program intended to help people weatherize their homes via government grants funded by the stimulus. So here we have government bureaucrats (paid by tax dollars) running a program (funded by tax dollars) evaluating which people who apply for the grant program are worthy of the funds (others’ tax dollars) to weatherize their homes. I suppose a few private contractors who do some of the actual work will get business they may not have gotten otherwise, but think: if the tax dollars hadn’t been taken in the first place, those people could have opted to weatherize their own home with the money that hadn’t been taxed away, and all the money that was drained out of the economy to run the bureaucracy that dispensed the funds would not have had to be sucked out of the economy either. That’s a bunch of money still in the economy where it could be invested or spent in ways that truly create wealth-creating jobs.
And my final point, which builds on what has come before, is a note on what the government could really do to spur the economy to ridiculous growth. Seeing that we enjoyed an unprecedented 55 consecutive months of uninterrupted job creation and economic growth during the previous 8 years, and seeing that that stretch began after the tax cuts which ended the mild recession of 2000-2001, I propose that the most assured way to spur growth in the economy is through tax cuts–payroll taxes to help the lower and middle class workers, cap gains taxes to assist small business owners (the real backbone of our economy, and those who employ the majority of Americans), and income tax cuts across the board to assist all tax payers. This way, real Americans who work in non-government, and therefore not-tax-supported, jobs will have more of their own money today, immediately, to spend and move the economy forward. Hundreds of millions of Americans doing their individual day-to-day thing can and will do more for the economy than hoards of bureaucrats crafting plans and reviewing applications and dispensing funds with strings attached and red tape.
For the good of nation, I implore you to call for this far more responsible and, frankly, American plan that respects the wisdom of the American worker, upholds the freedom and independence of the consumer, recognizes the incredible engine of wealth-creation that is the American market, and brings us back from the precipice of a bleak, socialist, centrally planned future.